Delaware boxing class for those with Down syndrome takes off

The program has been expanding and there are now 15 different locations of the program across the country.

ByTom Kretschmer via WPVI logo
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
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Jonathan Gainey and his partner Lauren Camp co-founded Down to Box, a nonprofit boxing program made specifically for adults with Down syndrome.

NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) -- Jonathan Gainey has 14 years of experience in personal training and has worked with hundreds of clients and taught numerous fitness classes. But his favorite class to teach is the one nearest to his heart.

"I like to think it's a testament to how long they've been with me and my class. They come in and their smiles never fade," said Gainey.

He and his business partner Lauren Camp co-founded Down to Box, a nonprofit boxing program made specifically for adults with Down syndrome.

They say there was a void for cardio training for those individuals after the age of 18. The program began at his gym Knockout Fitness in Newark, Delaware.

"Individuals with Down syndrome may suffer from decreased muscle mass and low muscle tone. Boxing helps with that. It's the dexterity, the ring time and the cardio aspects that can help these individuals," Gainey says.

They aren't hitting each other, but there are plenty of training regimens that he puts his class through to get in shape. He says his class isn't limited to what some can or can't do.

"I like to think it doesn't limit anybody. Down syndrome is an intellectual disability, but I push the bar as high as any one of my other classes. So many times when teaching classes for adults with disabilities, people lower the bar. I like to keep it where it is," he says.

Karla Corrie has been boxing at the class for years. She says her favorite part is when she gets to spar with Coach Jonathan in the ring.

"Sometimes he's a troublemaker," she jokes. "He likes to cheat. But we always have a blast."

Jonathan Gainey

She says she and her friends can't wait for the next week's class to climb in the ring and learn new skills.

The program has been expanding. There are now 15 different locations of the program across the country.

For more information or to sign up please visit https://www.downtobox.org